What is Mammography?

"What is mammography?" As an answer to the question, It is a medical imaging method that allows one to see the abnormalities in the breast with a low-dose X-ray. With the help of the mammography device, the doctor can examine more closely the changes in the breast tissue that they could not notice during the examination. Thanks to the mammography device, breast diseases in women can be diagnosed early. Screening Mammography is required if there are any signs of breast cancer, such as nodule formation in the breast, nipple collapse, or discharge coming from the breast. People with breast implants should have a diagnostic mammogram. Diagnostic Mammography is more comprehensive than screening Mammography. Screening mammography is a type of Mammography done only for control purposes when no symptoms are seen yet.

What is Digital Mammography?

Digital Mammography is a mammography system that uses solid-state detectors that convert X-rays into electrical signals instead of films that are applied with X-rays. These detectors are analogous to the systems found in digital cameras. Electrical signals allow the ability to produce images that can be viewed on a computer screen or printed on a particular film, similar to conventional mammograms, to obtain the breast image. In terms of application for the patient, digital Mammography is no different from other mammograms. However, because it increases resolution and contrast, a more precise image is obtained compared to normal Mammography. This facilitates the differentiation and imaging of small tumors in the breast tissue and provides an advantage for the doctor to diagnose the disease. Since it allows access to specific information simultaneously, it eliminates the need for frequent regular Mammography.

How is Mammography taken?

  • All clothing is removed, and a long cotton dress with an open front is put on. After the dress is put on, one arm is pulled out, the breast to be shot is released, and it is asked to stand in front of the mammography machine.
  • During Mammography, the breast is placed between two plates, flattened by pressing and exposed to X-rays. This may cause slight discomfort but will only last a few seconds.
  • After the breast is placed between the plates, it is desirable to hold the breath. Meanwhile, the technician will quickly take the X-ray. The plaque will then be separated from the breast.
  • The technician repositions the patient so a second, different-angle view of the breast can be taken.
  • This process is repeated in the same way for the other breast.
  • Jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets should be removed during Mammography. In addition, since substances such as deodorant and powder applied to the body can damage the mammography images, they must be cleaned before the procedure.

Difference Between Mammography and Ultrasound

During the procedure with a mammography device, low-dose radiation is used to take an image of the breast. The breast is flattened and compressed between two plates for the best view, and images are usually taken from two different angles. Unlike the mammography device, which uses radiation to take a picture of the breast, the ultrasound device sends sound waves to the body. After the area is covered with gel to detect abnormalities in the breast, a microphone-like instrument is placed on the skin to direct the sound waves and follow the echoes as they bounce off the breast tissue. After the sound echoes are converted into pictures, they are observed on the computer screen. This process has no intervention, such as placing the breast on the plate and straightening it. It is insufficient to use ultrasound alone for disease finding. Studies have shown that ultrasound can hide small cysts or tumors.

What age is Mammography taken?

It is difficult to determine at what age to start mammography screenings. Although early diagnosis is of great importance to prolong survival, minimizing the patient's exposure to radiation is also necessary. Some studies reveal that being under mammography device radiation can also increase the risk of cancer. Most experts consider it appropriate to have their patients undergo a mammogram once a year to prevent this situation. From this point of view, choosing the age range where the risk of developing cancer is generally high is the right starting point to start screening. It is recommended that women at average risk should not have their first mammogram before the age of 40. In addition, experts recommend that this should be repeated every year after screening for cancer. However, a definite answer has yet to be given regarding when Mammography should be obtained first.

How long is a Mammogram Scanning?

After being in the appropriate position for Mammography, the technician takes a breast image within a few seconds. This process can be uncomfortable, but in the end, it will take just a few minutes. The duration of Mammography varies according to the center where the procedure is performed, the time it takes to fill out the patient identification form, and the preparation process. Screening mammography usually takes 15 minutes. Diagnostic Mammography can take twice as long (30 minutes) as this.

Is it painful during Mammography?

The mammography experience is different for everyone. Some women may feel pain during the procedure, while others may not feel anything. Pain level: It may vary depending on the size of the breasts, the coincidences of the menstrual cycle with the mammogram, personal pain tolerance, and how the person is positioned during the procedure. However, permanent and long-term pain does not occur after the mammography procedure. Since women's breasts may be more sensitive due to their menstrual cycle, the question "on which day of the menstrual period mammography is taken?" may come to mind. It is recommended to avoid Mammography one week before the menstrual cycle to prevent possible pain. In addition, since caffeinated substances can increase breast sensitivity, it is recommended not to consume such foods a week or two before the appointment.

How do you get Mammography results?

On the scan results, a nodule or mass with a smooth structure is usually not cancerous. A palpable nodule can be examined with an ultrasound device. If it is filled with fluid, it is called a cyst and is generally not cancerous; however, the doctor may recommend a biopsy. Nodules that have a star-like appearance and do not have smooth edges are of more significant concern and often require biopsy. How long it takes to get a mammogram result may differ depending on whether you have a screening or diagnostic mammogram. While it usually takes two weeks to get the screening mammography results, the result report can be obtained from the doctor or the relevant reporting unit immediately after the diagnostic procedure.

Is there any harm of Mammography?

A mammogram does not cause worrisome or long-term side effects on breast tissue. However, like all X-ray examinations, Mammography exposes the person to some radiation. For this reason, there is much discussion about how often women should get mammograms. Although this issue is controversial, oncologists state that the amount of radiation exposure during Mammography is minimal and that the benefits of detecting breast cancer early outweigh any risks or side effects of radiation.

Which department goes to for Mammography?

It makes detecting cancer at an early stage of the treatment process. Mammography cannot prevent the formation of breast cancer and does not reduce the risk of developing cancer. However, it can prevent deaths from breast cancer. For this reason, it is essential for women from the age of 19 to establish a routine for self-examination and to see a doctor as soon as possible to detect lumps that they think are cancer-related. People suspected of cancer may be asked, "From which department to make an appointment for mammography?". An appointment should be made by the general surgery department in hospitals to have a mammogram or to determine whether any swelling carries a cancer risk.

Created at 11.10.2023 06:20
Updated at 21.05.2024 09:52
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